An unnamed 37-year-old man was a victim of a theft from a gang of robbers who fled with 15 bitcoin (BTC), worth HKD 3 million ($387,000) in cash. They had agreed to meet in person for a crypto exchange transaction.
Six Non-Chinese Suspects Allegedly Involved in the Theft
Per the South China Morning Post, the bitcoin trader intended to meet in person in Hong Kong with the alleged buyers after an online conversation.
Initially, the unnamed victim was paid the HKD 3 million in cash as agreed while in the robbers’ car, as he previously transferred 15 BTC to the buyers, outside a hotel in North Point, Hong Kong. According to markets.Bitcoin.com data, 15 BTC is worth $519,969 as of press time.
However, following the transaction, the robbers kicked the victim out of the car on a hillside while counting the money, sparking a nationwide search. According to the police, the incident happened after the robbers traveled for more than 6km and stopped on Tai Tam Road in Chai Wan.
Afterward, three men appeared on the scene, kicked out the victim, stole the victim’s cash and two mobile phones.
Hong Kong police stated that they are looking for a total for “six suspects of non-Chinese ethnicity, aged around 30,” including the driver, who are possibly involved in the incident.
Reactions From the Crypto Community
Police sources told the South China Morning Post that the robbery didn’t involve any weapons, nor struggles that left people injured.
As of press time, the Eastern district crime squad of Hong Kong is in charge of the investigation.
Reacting to the news, Jameson Lopp, CTO of Casa and former software engineer at Bitgo, issued a short, but straight-to-the-point recommendation:
Don’t engage in six figure face to face bitcoin trades without an armed escort, folks.
Some people commented on Lopp’s Twitter thread that in-person bitcoin-related transactions are quite common in some countries, such as Japan, even involving “large cash trades.”
Do you trust in-person crypto-related transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.
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